Design Thinking Defined
MIND THE METHODOLOGY GAP
Hello again Humantific Readers. In this our last post of 2017 we are by popular request reposting our Design Thinking definitions that have previously appeared in many of our previous LinkedIn blog posts.
As the year comes to a close what we see around the subject of Design Thinking in the marketplace is alot of smoke and mirrors occurring that have confused zillions of people. The design community itself has created much of the confusion and unfotunately clarity leadership from the direction of graduate design education in particular has been less then ideal. Many have conflated Design Thinking Philosophy with Design Thinking Methodology, when in reality, one is not the other.
Humantific seems to be among only a few practices stepping up to point out that Design Thinking cannot be defined philosophically as an open aperature problem solving approach if the actual methods are assumption-based presuming/recognizing only product, service and experience challenges and outcomes. It is no secret that many diverse challenges in organizations and in societies exist that have nothing to do with creating more products, services or experiences. Any skilled methodologist can tell you that open apperture methods and assumption-based methods are two different things. They have different starting points and different outcomes.
This seems elementary but in fact is the central confusion in the marketplace presently, due in large measure to the slow methodology R&D adaptation of the graduate design schools over the course of that last decade. The spinning and selling of philsophy as methodolgy has led to a now widespread Hocus-Pocus effect around the subject of Design Thinking.
The good news is that with organizational leaders becoming more knowledgeable, more savy the Hocus-Pocus Era of Design Thinking is ending. We are optimistic that a new Methodolgy Ethics Era is dawning.
As a practice we are already embracing that era.
[PS: If you are fed up with the Hocus-Pocus Era of Design Thinking and would like to join us in the future feel free to send us an email: kickitup (at) humantific (dot) com]
UPSTREAM IN ORIENTATION:
DESIGN THINKING [Also known as Meta Design Thinking, Strategic Design Thinking and Adaptable Inquiry]
Key Words: Upstream, meta, iterative, human-centered, empathetic, nonlinear, creating, optimizing, insight creation, design research, data/information fueled, visual sensemaking, challenge framing, focus on right challenge, acceleration, adaptive, inclusive.
Is a meta, iterative, nonlinear, holistic, human-centered innovation process.
Oriented towards multiple participant, cross-disciplinary cocreation.
Begins with no preconceived assumptions regarding what the challenges, and opportunities are.
Begins upstream in Opportunity Challenge Definition Phase.
Begins with a fuzzy situation to be defuzzed.
Contains empathetic research insight creation that informs challenge framing and opportunities for changemaking.
Recognizes that a constellation of diverse challenges likely exist simultaneously that can be visually mapped.
Contains a high degree of empathetic visual sensemaking that shapes insights for accelerated digestion by all participants.
Contains the surfacing and orchestration of participant innovation behaviors.
Contains the surfacing and orchestration of participant cognitive thinking style preferences.Like a Swiss army knife, is adaptive to various challenge types found in organizational and societal contexts.
Serves as human-centered, adaptive toolkit/skill-set in the pursuit of organizational adaptive capacity building.
DOWNSTREAM IN ORIENTATION:
PRODUCT/SERVICE/EXPERIENCE DESIGN THINKING
Key Words: Downstream, situational, iterative, human-centered, empathetic, nonlinear, insight creation, sensemaking, acceleration, creating, optimizing, products, services, experiences.
Is a situational, iterative, nonlinear, holistic product/service/experience creation process.
Oriented towards a project team, or teams creating products/services/experiences.
Begins with preconceived assumptions that the challenges or opportunities are product/service/experience related and will be outcomes.
Begins downstream in product/service/experience Opportunity Challenge Definition Phase.
Most often begins with a predefined product/service/experience brief.
Contains empathetic research focused on insight creation that informs the creation of products/services/experiences.
Recognizes product/service/experience challenges.
Might contain a high degree of empathetic visual sensemaking that shapes insights for accelerated digestion by all participants.
Most often contains no surfacing or orchestration of innovation behaviors.
Most often contains no surfacing and orchestration of cognitive thinking style preferences.
Like a hammer, screwdriver and wrench. Each applicable situationally to product, service or experience challenges.
Can serve as a useful toolkit/skill-set in the pursuit of product/service/experience creation capacity building.
Hope this is useful to many.
Happy Holidays Humantific readers and goodluck to all!
Humantific: Making Sense of “Why Design Thinking Will Fail” 2017
Humantific: Making Sense of Design Thinking & Agile Method 2017
Innovation Methods Mapping: De-Mystifying 80+ Years of Innovation Process Design 2016